his critics say it is being used to help allies convicted of corruption. after joining the e.u. in 2007, romania was pressed to put an end to mass corruption among its politicians. later, romania's prime minister assured angela merkel his government is fighting graft intensely. >> i want to express the determination of the government and the government coalition to have and to strengthen a constitutional state in romania to fight corruption and create the best possible legislative conditions for investors. reporter: but leader of this -- the same prime minister was tried for forgery, money laundering and tax evasion. he was romania's first prime minister to be sued in office. he was far from being romania's only corrupt politician.
the country's anticorruption director has prosecuted former leaders and ministers, 1170 people overall accused of abuse in office. including the current head of the ruling social democrats. romania has made progress, but still ranks 57th on the transparency international report, pulling europe's average rate down with a handful of other countries. scandals have been revealed not only among top politicians but also local ones, who often exchanged contracts or handed out authorizations for bribes. these illegal practices have led to tragedies like when a nightclub burned down in 2015, killing 64 people. authorities had authorized the club to open, although it was clearly dangerous. [chanting] reporter: the executive order
issued by the government would keep those who commit corruption and power abuse crimes out of prison unless those involved take more than 44,000 euros, that is more than twice the amount in average romanian worker earns in a whole year. that's why romanians are protesting again and why this time their number is higher than ever in the past two decades. laura: for the latest we go to bucharest and our correspondent. we are looking at pictures from the romanian capital. it would seem these protests will not be slowing down just yet. no, definitely not. last night was the largest in the country's in the last quarter of a century in romania pet tonight, the numbers are down a little bit, but we are seeing at least 200,000 on the streets across the whole country, which is almost the same as last night. and this is the third night in a row they are -- there are said
to be more protest tomorrow, and this weekend we are expecting to see high numbers on the streets on saturday and sunday night. laura: there have been some politicians opposing these new laws today, but on the whole, sts heime minister insi will be pushing ahead. he was recently elected with a pretty large mandate, wasn't he? election in early december gave the social democratic party and their thees around 55% of parliamentary seats. they have a very strong majority. and it will be very hard for the parliament itself to be able to oppose these new laws and oppose what the government is doing, which is why the people on the streets are so determined that their voices heard because if it's left to politicians, the opposition is not strong enough, willhe, the government push ahead with these as they
said it, even after three days of huge protests. the government does not seem like it is going to back down anytime soon. the european union praised romania in its efforts in fighting corruption. majorote will be a setback. kit: indeed. romania has long suffered from corruption. it is a big issue. over the last few years, significant efforts and cigna begin progress has been made by the country. the anticorruption directorate has made, as your intro, your last piece suggested, very strong progress and it kind of created an environment where people do not think anyone is above the law. what the latest movement by the government seems to imply is a reversal of these things, which is concerning to many, many romanians, and also a concern to romania's western partners, the rest of the e.u.
we have seen strong statements or statements at least of concern from embassies in progress from th -- in bucharest from the european parliament, and we are seeing strong voices that are worried about what is happening. laura: thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. moving to the united states now where climate change skeptics copper has been approved to lead the country's environmental protection agency. republicans suspended committee rules to force through the nomination after democrats boycotted the meeting. you can see the empty seats at the meeting. republicans used similar tactics to force through the nominations of the treasury and health secretaries as well. has been, trump trying to plate on a leaked dispute with the primacy for one of america strong as allies. primebullied australia's minister in a phone call and described it as the worst ever
with a world leader. the u.s. president then tweeted angrily about the exchange. the source of his anger? 1000 refugees in from an australian detention center. agreed by the previous leader barack obama. trump today called that deal "dumb." president trump: the world is in trouble but we are going to straighten it out, ok? that is what i do. i fix things. believe me, when you hear about the tough phone calls i am having, don't worry about it. just don't worry about it. they are tough. we have to be tough. it is time we are going to be a little tough, folks. we are taken advantage of by every nation in the world virtually. it is not going to happen anymore. it's not going to happen anymore. more with ouret washington correspondent. donald trump saying people should not be worried. some people are alarmed about this rift with one of america's oldest allies, and some people are warning it could turn into a
real diplomatic rift. you have a dispute during the first two weeks of your presidency, what are things going to look like when a -- a really difficult phone call happens in the oval office? donald trump is not letting go of this. he again spoke about this around noon time local time, again talking about this refugee swap deal that was put in place by the obama administration. donald trump does get something wrong here. he does not say these are refugees be a he says they are illegal immigrants. that is not the case. that is what the refugee swap put in place by the obama white house for around 1250 refugees that are currently on pop one guinea andapua new the united states when in turn hand over refugees from central america to australia. what donald trump says at this
point is h e will keep this deal for not but he wants all those refugees to go through his new concept of extreme vetting. and a lot of these refugees who would end up in the united states, they are from some of those seven muslim majority pointies that at this not being allowed into the united states full stop. president donald trump clearly using his new means at his disposal to slow down this deal and to create clearly a rift with one of the united states' closest allies. the white house not really trying very hard to make this relationship look any better today. tough so, he's talking with america's allies and talking even tougher with america's longtime goes. i'm talking about iran -- with america's longtime foes. following the missile test, donald trump says to ron is "
tehrain is on notice." philip: it sounds rather harsh, but it does not mean anything specific. it is a warning sign towards rian, but it does not mean what might come next. so, donald trump in the white house today, and the west wing was asked by one drillers -- one journalist is the military option on the table? and donald trump's response was nothing is off the table. still, this is not very concrete right now but the white house already creating this rift with iran reacting to that ballistic missile test, but also to its support for the rebels in yemen. nationalhas made for security advisor general michael flynn to come out yesterday and use those words that iran is now "on notice." this creates a serious rift between iran and the united
states, though the white house is insisting anything that is going on here -- any blister missile test -- have nothing to do with the nuclear deal that was signed between the obama administration and iran and many other members of the international community. still, this is pretty aggressive line was being used by the white house. laura: thank you very much, indeed. time for domestic policy. donald trump has been threatening to cut funding to the university of california at berkeley today. after violent protests forced the school to cancel a speech by controversial right-wing journalists. hundreds of people classed with police over a planned appearance by a breitbart news editor. some through rocks and set fires . trump says that the university could not defend free speech, it would lose its federal funding. steve bannon previously headed breitbart news. an anticorruption scandal in france is threatening to end the presidential campaign of francois fillon.
he's battling to stay in the race, but police are investigating his children along with his wife over allegations they were paid with public funds to do nonexistent jobs. supposed tos represent mainstream conservatives in three months time, insisted today he had done nothing illegal. i'm being blamed for wanting my wife to be my closest aide. sshe has been by my side for moe than 40 years. every single day. there is nothing illegal in that. i'm no fool. this is not about demanding justice. this is about crushing me. this is about crushing the right taking away our right to vote. is now under major pressure from members of his party to step aside and allow another candidate to replace him. thiefer: fillon,
resound, with all this protester could get out before he was muscled into silence. francois fillon's campaign is crawling. his once spotless record is tainted by allegations he paid his wife for a fake job. supporters say he has been thrown to the wolves, but the tide is turning against him. 70% of voters, according to one poll, want him to step down over the scandal. an institutional coup d'état, of whom, of what? what needs to play out is francois fillon must explain what has happened here. each person should assume responsibility for their part and tell the true to the french -- the truth to the french people. reporter: the french people and his own party. mp's of his party are questioning whether penelope gate has turned the hope of clinching the presidency into a liability. 58% are standing firm while 42% want fillon out.
it is a tragic fall from grace. the right-wing nominee was considered a favorite to win the presidential election starting in april. now he's lagging behind far right marine le pen and been overtaken by emmanuel macron. there are concerns that debate over policy has been drowned out by all the political mudslinging. >> i believe for the good of this presidential election and for the democratic debate, because it is a pity to see we no longer talk about unemployment, terrorism and so on, that it may be better for francois fillon to pass the baton. reporter: pass the baton onto whom? his rival alain juppe is a firm plan b favorite among the party. laura: the newly elected head of the socialist has been meeting president hollande. the hard left candidate won the primary candidate.h
the latest polls show the socialist will struggle to reach the second round, but hamon is now just three points behind emmanuel macron. angelaman chancellor merkel is in turkey where she has been urging president erdogan to allow dissent and a free press. it was her first visit since a failed coup last summer and a subsequent crackdown that is seen journalists, socialists and civil service jailed en masse. angela merkel said it is vital to upload without -- to uphold the values of a democratic society. reporter: ties between germany and turkey. angela merkel is making her first visit to the country since last year's failed coup attempt. berlin has grown increasingly worried over ankara's crackdown on dissidents and the aftermath. angela merkel urged the turkish president to uphold democracy. opposition belongs in a democracy.
we discussed the key question of freedom of expression and talked extensively about the freedom of journalists, press freedom. the turkish government has accused germany of harboring members of the network it blames for the coup. he maynt erdogan said provide evidence to german authorities after some 40 turkish nato officers and soldiers requested asylum in germany. the turkish government wants those applications rejected and has warned a failure to do so could hurt relations. berlin says they will be considered on a case-by-case basis. leaders also discussed other controversial issues, including turkey's e.u. membership and the war on terror. bristling at the use of the word " islamist terrorism," erdogan says there is no country working harder to stop the islamic state groups. >> turkey our determination is certain.
and there is no compromise on this, but fighting against international terrorism means international cooperation and agreement. reporter: erdogan's tough talk played well at home with the state press praising the turkish leader. laura: now, there are six weeks left of winter. that is according to an impeccably reliable source. that's pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, punxsutawney phil. his handlers say the rodent's cast a shadow at dawn this tuesday. the tradition dating back to 1887 dictates if he casts a shadow on this day, winter will continue for six more weeks. if not, we are in for an early spring. take a listen. >> here ye, hear ye. now the second day of february, 2017, the 131st annual track of the punxsutawney groundhog club
before one of the largest crowds in the history of groundhog day. punxsutawney phil, the seer or seers, prognosticator of all was prognosticators woken by cheers. he directed the president and the inner circle his prediction scroll reads "at gobbler's knob on groundhog day, we celebrate a worldwide holiday. you mighty cold weather have been braving. is it winter or is it summer you are craving? since we have been up all night and starting to toddle, i phil shall not donald. -- dawdle. my facebook followers are clearly say, a perfect, clear shadow of me. winter itintereeks of shall be." sorry disappoint
anyone who was hoping to put away their hot water bottles. looks like it will stay chilly for a wee while longer. kate moody is here. starting with the british economy. optimisticome forecast about what might happen post-brexit. waiting for still details. the bank of england has raised its productions for growth, the third time says the referendum. officials are warning that the process of leaving the european union could cause medium to long-term damage, but the forecast for 2017 is looking rosy. to do away with the bank ofjitters, england raised its growth outlook for 2017 for the second time in three months. the bank had doubled his august forecast to 1.4% in november and expects the economy to grow by 2% this year.
markets initially braced for the worst after the june referendum, but the u.k. has been doing better than expected. in economy expanded by 0.6% the last quarter of 2016, one of the strongest growth rates in the world. yet the bank of england warns its revised forecast does not brexit end o ff the effect. >> it does not mean the referendum is without consequence. uncertainty is weighing on business investment which has been flat since the end of 2015. of gdp isly the level expected to be one point 5% lower in two years time than we had projected in may. reporter: the bank kept interest rates which had been cut for the first time in seven years at a record low .25%. yet there were hints on thursday the rates could go up again to keep up with price increases. inflation is expected to peak at
2.8% next year. kate: the £ back on the currency seven-week high early in the day and dropped back 1% against the dollar. got half a percent boost at the close. dax anc cac 40 ending slide underneath the flat line. a dip in weekly jobless claims filed through the last week. all the major indices trading slightly in the red. labor department were released its employment report for january on friday. investors will be tuning in for that. the french search engine that had bridges this up as a more secure alternative to google has raised 18.5 million euros on sunday from the investment arm of the french state. e which was launched in 2013 prioritizes privacy for 32 million users and does not track their online activity. competewill help qwant
with google which has been coming under fire from european authorities concerned about is gathering of personal data. u.s. president donald trump wants to speed up talks on withdrawn from or replacing the north american free trade agreement. speaking to a group of senators thursday, he said the deal canada and mexico had been "a catastrophe for american workers." mexico has said it expects to begin formal renegotiations in may. while the e.u. is planning to speed up its trade talks with mexico to combat "the worrying rise of protectionism around the globe." meanwhile, toyota has been pushing back against president trump's trade policies and his pledged to put america's workers first. the carmaker says instead of making -- an overseas competitor subject to import taxes it should be viewed as a local manufacture because it supports jobs in the u.s. reporter: toyota has increased
production. and the united states and build up its local sales network produced by american workers at american plants and for american customers. i hope toyota will basically be seen as a u.s. carmaker. kate: the head is expected to meet with shinzo abe on friday at a summit with trump in washington next wednesday. moving on from the day's other business headlines now. the chief executive of ralph lauren has quit after less than two years on the job. larsson had classed with the brand's founder about how to reinvigorate its image. sales has been slumping and revenues fells. . shares dropped 12% in thursday trading. troubles continue at the french energy giant edf. it plans to cut 4000 jobs, 6% of its workforce by 2019 as part of a restructuring. the union says that the downsizing could impact upcoming
projects like the construction of a nuclear power plant in the u.k. to suspended service in taiwan starting february 10. the services protesting $10.5 million of fines and poets -- imposed by the it islands authorities claiming that the business is illegal. uber says it will continue efforts to find a solution. is of china's richest men believed to have been abducted from his luxury hotel in hong kong. by chinese security agents. kongers may be feeling a sense of déjà vu over the disappearance. reports he was snatched from his hotel by mainland security agents left some people on edge. >> the mainland authority is taking -- and acting in such a bad manner with total disregard to the one country, two system.
people who have migrated to hong kong from the mainland will become very concerned. reporter: it is illegal for mainland agents to operate in hong kong. the tycoon himself is said to have denied claims he was abducted. from chinese newspapers, a statement supported him, saying he was receiving medical treatment abroad and that all was going well at his group. hong kong media reported the billionaire had been seeking to move some of his businesses to japan because of security concerns. morning postna said that he was targeted by chinese authorities over the 2015 stockmarket crash. theulation is rising that businessman's disappearance is linked to the president's ongoing anticorruption drive, which critics believe is being used to target his political opponents. has holdingst it and banking, insurance, real estate and natural resources. he's worth $6 billion and is
ranked 32nd on the rich list. kate: in paris authorities have been trying to crack down on pollution and introduced a new system requiring vehicles to buy stickers indicated their emissions level to drive in the city. the environmental scheme has been welcomed by some and others are less than impressed. one town says that any cars with paris lysis plants will be required to buy a sticker in order to drive through its town limits. he wants to show small town regulations can be "just as absurd as those imposed in the capitale." for parisians seeking to drive into the countryside. laura: we are taking a short break. more still to come on "france 24 ." ♪
02/02/17 02/02/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! president trump pushes the senate republicans to use the nuclear option if needed to push through the confirmation of supreme court nominee neil gorsuch. meanwhile, democrats attempt to fight back by boycotting committee votes on three cabinet picks. we will get the latest from ryan grim of the huffingtgton post. plus, we will speak to an immigration lawyer suing the trump administration over its ban on refugees anand citins